Itâ€™s a Horror to Know You: Crankenstien of Theater Of Guts!
1. What is the first film that ever scared you?
Creepshow, I saw it at eight years of age at a friend’s house whose parents spoiled him with every ’80s toy imaginable (He-Man, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Thundercats) and let him watch all kinds of craziness (Playboy Channel, Amityville Horror and we even watched Fulci‘s Zombie). There was some abuse going on in that household! After I saw Creepshow I couldn’t tell anyone in my family, because I didn’t want to spoil a good thing, but I had an underlying feeling of dread and couldn’t sleep. I would go over to his house thinking that Creepshow was a TV show and didn’t understand that it was an anthology, so every time it repeated on HBO I figured it was a new episode and kids in my elementary school would even lie to me and make up fictional episodes.
I had a mirror in my grandma’s bathroom that looked like the Jordy Verill one and thought maybe a creepy old farmer would appear in it and tell me to slit my wrists. I think that’s where my relationship of being repulsed and attracted to horrific movies came from.
2. What is the last film that scared you?
Under The Blossoming Cherry Trees (1975) directed by Masahiro Shinoda. I wanted to see it because it had the guy from Lonewolf and Cub. So I watched it late one night on Huluplus and did not expect to jump out of my skin! You’d never know how scary it is, because the frightening scene comes out of nowhere. Tomisaburo Wakayami the heavy set samurai plays a mountain man who’s beheaded his many wives and fears nothing except looking up when the blossoms begin to fall during the season, because anyone who does so will lose their mind! It was 3 in the morning when he finally looks above (in my house) while the leaves fell and as he lifts his head,he sees the most hideous demon riding on his back and I was so alarmed and freaked out, but tried not to react in the middle of the night and wake anyone up, the image was so strange that I wondered if I dreamt it. It was very disturbing and I don’t scare easily!
3. Name three horror movies that you believe are underrated.
The Incident (1967) directed by Larry Peerce. This isn’t technically a horror film, but is a subway terror film and pretty grimy, it still has yet to come out on DVD. Tony Musante and Martin Sheen are two punks that hold all these various characters on a New York subway hostage and berate and humiliate everyone, its gets really explosive and ugly. Ed McMahon, Beau Bridges and Brock Peters are some of the passengers and give it some kitsch value and The Terry Knight score, the guy who terrorized Grand Funk Railroad and held their records hostage is super creepy.
The Changeling (1980) directed by Peter Medak. I never hear anyone mention this creepy ghost flick with George C. Scott, who’s always a great addition to any movie for me. I was expecting to find it laughable and was genuinely freaked out by the poor ghost boy submerged in a death bath. It has a political edge too and a cover up of a murder that no one was supposed to figure out. The ghost led Scott to solve his murder and without the grief brought on by his own family dying in a car accident he never would have solved the case.
Dr. Butcher (The Snuff Maximus Cut) My friend Skunkape who is a long time best friend, genius film maker in his own right and contributor to my blog brought to my attention that the dusty VHS cut of Dr. Butcher is a lot better than the newly restored Zombie Holocaust. Having just watched Holocaust and finding it pretty lame from what I remembered, I felt I should see what the deal was and check out the video version (he hooked me up with a copy). I have to attribute the Walter Sear score as injecting life into Dr. Butcher, it sounds like a hyper violent Atari game and is both laughable and disturbing, which goes well with the subtext of the film! It reminds me of the truncated versions of classics that would turn up in the 80’s and the foreign versions, which in many cases were better, for me its the complete opposite and even though I love Nico Fidenco, his score sounds totally phoned in by comparison.
4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.
The Manitou (1978) directed by William Girdler. This one is notorious for being so ridiculous and out of control and it is, a classic bomb that I never get tired of watching, I could see it over and over and not get bored. Tony Curtis is so unhinged as a bad psychic down on his luck, the script seems like it was written by a third grader. All electronics and typewriters have their personal Manitou according to this film. Things that make absolutely no sense happen as Susan Strasberg, topless on a hospital bed in space, shoots lasers out of her fingers! John Singing Rock the Syrian Indian is the only one who can save the universe from a pint-sized, demonic bacne baby (hatched out of Strasberg‘s back). you gotta love that her father is the famed acting teacher Lee Strasberg.
To The Devil…. A Daughter (1976) directed by Peter Sykes. The first movie where Nastassja Kinski appears completely naked, but there’s no way to enjoy it because she’s like 14! Satanists are trying to get her to have the devil’s spawn, which looks like a goldfish inbred puppet that slithers around, looking like that wobbly octopus prize you used to find in a cereal box. Its’ pretty lame but very entertaining and anything with Christopher Lee is worth checking out.
Ilsa, Harem Keeper Of the Oil Sheiks (1976) directed by Don Edmonds. This one is wrong on so many levels but is a lot more fun then the first movie! It’s got all the giant breasted Russ Meyer women (Haji, Uschi, etc.) and its got the dude with the bizarre features from Slacker (Jerry Delony)! This movie is a hard sell for most, but if you are like me and constantly tuned into the mindset of a 14 year old watching late night Cinemax, just throw in some torture and campiness and you’ll be able to stomach some of the mayhem! There’s a weird kind of political jab against Arabs and the U.S. making secret deals, this was made by Canadians who were ahead of their time and the next sequel, Tigress of Siberia is awesome too!
5. Send us to five places on the Internet!
1. F THAT S. The sadly gone but not forgotten radio show of Joe Preston (Thrones, Melvins, Earth). This radio show is amazing with some of the best soundtrack mixes and metal comps ever assembled, one episode was an all metal all/ pizza radio ad show and was incredible! Another show was dedicated to the death of his dog with all rare and haunting Morricone tracks. Joe is the reason I now know that the early Bee Gees and Scorps are worth checking out.
2. Netflix Retrieving Screen. This is my sister’s blog who is a great writer and a rock and roll drummer in a band with her husband, they are called Hot Hands. She is as obsessed with movies as I am.
3. Illogical Contraption Tumblr. I’ve contributed for these guys before and they are the funniest people on the planet, their non-picture blog has everything from alien conspiracy theories, metal and hardcore albums worth downloading and there’s so much talent goin’ on, they have a radio show now too. This one however is all pictures and there is some disturbing junk, but its a lot of fun, some of it is NSFW so watch out kiddies!
4. Dave The Spazz Radio. Here’s another favorite radio show that is just incredible. It has everything from the worst novelty songs to the greatest current garage bands, old country, old r&b groups and some of the best holiday themed shows of rare vinyl songs that Dave finds at different flea markets and puts on the turn table. There’s a couple of weird hillbilly episodes with guest record collector Greg Germani who stops by and plays the rarest zaniest tunes in the Chainsaw Massacre/ Motel Hell style.
5. Loogyhead on Redbubble. This guy has the most incredible designs on Redbubble and even though it’s pricey (25. w/o shipping), they are really worth it, especially for someone like me who loves cult movies but wants more of a choice then only uncomfortable black t-shirts that shrink after a while. I recently bought a C.H.U.D. one and want to get the Pray For Death one next!
“The Changeling (1980) directed by Peter Medak. I never hear anyone mention this creepy ghost flick with George C. Scott….”
Well, The Changeling gets plenty of discussion on this site! Classic Traumatizer.
Great post – Under The Blossoming Cherry Trees sounds very interesting. Looks like its not on Netflix though – a Hulu exclusive?
Oh boy…I was traumatized by Creepshow. I went with my Dad at the age of 5 to his friends house. They had just purchased a laserdisc player and we were invited to view it in all it’s glory. What did we watch? Creepshow! There were 4 of us kids, what the hell were they thinking?
The only story to really get to me was “The Crate”. Later that evening, I imagined it was under my bed and breathing heavy. I laid in terror for what seemed like hours before crawling into bed with Dad, who was grumpy for being woke up due to some “sillyness”.
Later on Creepshow became one of my favorites for it’s nod to EC Comics, which I love(d). I missed an opportunity to see it on the big screen this summer at the local bijou. Film festival was called “Summer Camp 82” and showed the cult classics of 1982. I was so bummed…
My Dad also became the “cool” parent who rented me tons of horror movies to watch as a kid – often daily. He worked long hours and was never home. He made a deal with the local Video Store to let me rent movies on my own and to call him if they questioned anything I had selected. Eventually the calls ended and I had free reign, as I rented nothing but Horror and he always said yes!
I remember reading the Creepshow Comic at the library and feeling very queasy afterwards but enjoying it. At that age I was totally unaware of E.C. Comics and never made the connection as an avid reader of Mad. Later on I was obsessed with that crap. My mom was really into horror movies and Demon Seed or When A Stranger Calls would be on Tv on Ny’s channel 9 or the other one can’t remember.
I think I saw “The Incident” on afternoon TV back in the early 80s but was never able to identify it since. Can someone confirm-is this the film where the thug finds a girls doll in one of the male passengers bags and humiliates him over it?
Something sort of like that happens, Ed Mcmahon’s daughter is sleeping and they keep pulling on her and it seems like they might do something awful, then Bo Bridges freaks out on the punks. The worst scene for me is when they humiliate this gay man by saying listen I’m gonna have to beat on you just for alittle while.
Creepshow scared the holy hell out of me too I was about 10 when I watched it first. The Ted Danson/Leslie nielsen segment frightened me the most, especially the scene where he’s watching the live feed of the lovers as the tide is coming in, I still get chills thinking about it. And thanks for letting me know about Joe Preston’s radio show had no idea it existed, I didn’t like much of what I’ve heard from Thrones but The Melvins Preston records are easily among the best of their long long career
He pretty much likes everything I listen to and is really amazing at putting together samples and constructing soundtrack mixtapes.
Wow, ‘The Incident’! I saw that ages ago on late night TV and couldn’t take my eyes off it until the end. I’d never heard of it before and was intrigued by all the famous faces. Glad it had a, well not happy, but satisfying ending with the bad guys finally getting the shit beat out of them!
And as far as a naked 14-year old Nastassja Kinski- What are you, gay?!
It makes me not a pedophile and it wouldn’t make any difference if I were gay!